Why is sustainable fashion such a big issue?
The fashion and clothing industry is one of the biggest in the world – and also one of the most polluting and damaging to people and planet.
We can all make changes to how we acquire, wear and dispose of our clothing to help reduce waste and support sustainable, ethical practices. This may be shopping slower, less often and for better quality, natural fabrics and ethically made items; shopping secondhand; swapping; repairing; or even making from scratch.
We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you get started on your sustainable fashion journey.
READ: our blog “Easy ways to wear clothes to last” by Emily Southcombe
LISTEN: to this special #CountdownToCOP Radio Verulam podcast talking about Wearing Clothes to Last
Awareness – what happens to our ‘used’ clothes
- Dead White Man’s Clothes – a multi-media project based in Accra, Ghana, exploring what happens in the largest ‘used’ clothing market in Ghana and perhaps West Africa. For a brief look into the market and the impact of secondhand clothing on Ghanaian society please watch the research ‘trailer’ below
- Fashion and Degrowth Discussion Panel – from Extinction Rebellion April 2021. Approx one hour watch. In a groundbreaking conversation, XR co-founder Clare Farrell and Giorgos Kallis, ecological economist and one of the principal advocates of degrowth theory, talk about why modern Western society is so unnerved by ideas of degrowth, what we need to enact alternative visions to modern growth-based development and and how to apply them to an industry built on unfettered expansionism.
Local charity & secondhand shops
- Cancer Research UK, St Albans and Harpenden
- The Hospice of St Francis, Abbots Langley, Kings Langley, Berkhamsted, Highfield, Marlowes, Marshalwick
- Keech Hospice Care, St Albans, Harpenden, Hemel Hempstead
- Oxfam, St Albans
- Peace Hospice Care, St Albans
- Rennie Grove, St Albans, Harpenden, Hemel Hempstead
- Scope, St Albans
- St Albans Antique & Vintage Market
Learn to sew
- Sew Enjoyable – A St Albans-based business offering sewing classes and workshops.
- Dressmaking for Beginners at West Herts College
- Sew School, Barnet
- Craftivist Collective – a nationwide movement to change the world one stitch at a time
- www.repairwhatyouwear.com – online tutorials (also search YouTube which is full of videos)
- The True Cost film – a must-watch movie about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world.
- Fashion Revolution – a key campaigner for a clean, safe, fair, transparent and accountable fashion industry through research, education, collaboration, mobilisation and advocacy. Includes the “Who made my clothes?” campaign.
- EcoAge – a fashion-focused sustainability consultancy with an insightful blog.
- Soil Association – key information on why organic fabrics and home textiles are so important to sustainability.
- Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion – free online resources aimed at industry leaders, educators and students.
- Conscious Chatter podcast – an engaging and insightful podcast covering all aspects of sustainable fashion.
- Traid, Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development
- Slow Fashion encourages people to make conscious choices for 3 months and have a fashion detox
Tools & apps
- Good on You – sustainable and ethical fashion brand ratings
- Done Good – list of brands that do good for people, animals and the planet
- Depop – use the app to buy and sell preloved fashion
- Ebay – use this resale giant to shop secondhand and from charities
- Thrift + – shop and donate secondhand fashion
- Project 333 – wear just 33 items for 3 months and get back all the joy you were missing while you were worrying about what to wear
- RESELLFRIDGES | Project-Earth | Selfridges
Sustainable fashion inspiration
- Venetia La Manna, sustainability activist
- Holly Rose, sustainability writer and activist
- Daria Wonder Wardrobe, capsule wardrobe courses
- Jess with Less, sustainable fashion blogger
- I Got it from the Charity Shop, secondhand shopping-focused instagram account
- My Green Closet, slow fashion and capsule wardrobe blogger
- Alden Wicker, sustainable fashion writer and expert
- Sustainable Fashion Week – Sustainable Fashion Week – UK
- Craftivism with Street Stitching
- Instagrammers to follow @1millionwomen, @repair_what_you_wear, @dontditchitstitchit, @the.seam.uk, @shesewsnp, @sew.much.waste, @mendassembly